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Old 15th January 2010, 00:25   #1
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Default Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

It was under 3 months since we bought our Sparky, Christmas was closing in, big plans for the 10 day shut down. However, there was one weekend before Christmas and I was very eager to get behind the wheels. We had been doing impromptu trips on weekends on our Splendor since our marriage of 7 years and had been continuing it with our car as well. I had wanted to take my wife and daughter to Sholinghur since a long time but it had not materialized. And now with the Sparky there was more reason to visit the hill-temple. I had visited this temple about 8 yrs back with my
friends on bikes. I remember well, the aching legs, especially while climbing and descending my office steps which had lasted a couple of days into the week then.

Friday night - Looked up google maps. Oops - multiple ways to reach the destination and surfing showed they were all successfully undertaken by folks. I was searching for "a" particular preferred path but could not find one via the travelogues on the net. I had learnt from my Bong friends at college - to always take a circular path and never retrace -
I have been following it since then as far as possible - a decade now.

So, back to google map - just past Poonamalle, one can find Thirumazhisai, take right on SH50, reach Puduchatram, touch Tiruvallur, take the NH205 till Tirutani. Just after that I needed to be careful not to carry on to Puttur/Renigunta on the NH, but take the SH54 till I hit SH108 - south-bound and I am there. On my way back, I would go via Arakkonam, go south SH58, Takkolam, Keelachery, Thandal and then to Poonamallee.

Hey, but what if I miss Thirumazhisai? No problem, I can take a right from Thandal. What if I miss that? No problem, take right at Sriperumbudur. All right, I had my plan A, B, C. 12 hrs later we were cruising past Sriperumbudur. What about all the NH/SH/the Thandals, the Thirumazhisais? Wifey was frantically going thru the couple of print-outs, one that would have Chennai at one end and Sholinghur at the other, a second one which would have the above NH, SH - all the numbers quite confusing. But we were enjoying the drive on the NH and were in no mood to stop on the side, ask a kadai - the directions, go ahead, take a U turn and look out for Thandal? Lot of waste of time, we felt. Then I
realised, I had seen a signal with a police man - maybe that was the right to Tiruvallur (which we found on our way back was indeed the one.) OK, no problem, co-passenger look out for the next right - due at Kaveripakkam which would take us in to Sholinghur. Yes!! sighted a sign-board - as big or should I say as small as the "Dr. " sign board which we
usually encounter at street corners - anyways, there was one - however, it was so close to the actual right - whoosh... we were well past that too by the time we could realise what was happening.

Now there was no way we were going to miss out the Walajapet right. Toll-plaza - all right - "Sholinghur eppidi poganam?" - "Town ulla pozhi, bus-stand-linth right". All right - no matter what - I was determined to see Walajapet.

On the SH61-NorthBound - Had the excellent bread-and-potato sandwiches that poor wifey had prepared 6:00 am that morning for the 3 of us - a great road-side breakfast - relished. Had heard that we would be able to see the temple from quite a distance. Not really. Finally at the temple. Dont remember the exact time. Maybe 10 am.

Wife and daughter were mentally prepared for the arduous climb - 1300 odd steps. Ok, I carry a water bottle and so does wifey. Start - oh! there are monkeys here. Ah! I know all hill-temples have them and ahh I had read them on the internet as well. Dont look at them, hide your bottles and walk. No eye-contacts please! Damn! More monkeys, hey there are more monkeys than humans on these steps. We quickly renamed it to "Monkey Hill". Photos? For that I would have to take the camera out of my pocket. Flashes of Hollywood flicks went past thru my mind - the villian shooting at the hero as he reaches for the gun from his gun-holder-belt. Analogous I felt! Soon there were a couple of baby-monkeys hugging each other and rolling down the steps and straight on thru my daughter's feet. Up she jumps and onto my chest - I was glad - my daughter is a quick learner. Insticts inherited and today inspired as well! Then there was one who was irritated by someone before us but showed its anger towards my wife. We escaped this too!

Whats the goal now? Do the remaining steps like a robot would - get a quick darshan and back to the car. There were people with sticks and stones and a twig with leaves - seems to help people fend themselves from the villans. Anyway, we reached the top and as expected alongside Lord Narasimha was Mr. Ancestor as well. Had a quick look around to get the views from the top. On the first steps at the top I could manage to get a few shots which I am posting here.

Now for the route back - Arakkonam for sure this time. Reached Arakkonam - what next? Takkolam? No... lets hit NH4 and take the 4 lane back home. So, it was Kanchipuram, Sriperumbudur and reached home for lunch. Luckily none of us suffered pain in the leg-muscles. We are getting younger! Lifestyle is better that a decade before? Great! All in all an adventurous half day trip and an easy 250KM drive.

Ciao.
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Old 15th January 2010, 08:23   #2
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hi
nice interesting narration, good pics.
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Old 15th January 2010, 09:07   #3
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jeevmenon, wow sholingur is a g8 place for a 1 day trip from chennai. It just brought me rememberance of my childhood trip when we went to the sholingur, with all my cousins, in a mahindra van. I still remember we took walajah route and we got lost and we had take directions from a chai shop owner. we stopped on the way near a coconut groove and had lunch which my mom and chitiies had prepared which included puli sadam, thayir sadam etc. Good old days. Brought back the memories. thanks for the travelogue.
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Old 6th June 2011, 13:08   #4
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

Hi Friends
Yesterday we did a trip to Sholinghur and Tiruthani after my partner's great research on the temples of Lord Narasimha Swami.

Early in the morning, at 5 o'clock we started our long drive and reached Krishnagiri A2B restaurant at 6.15. But the breakfast session there starts at 6.30 so we have to come back on road with just a coffee poured in our poor bellies and were straight at Sholingur via Vellore & Wallajah. We took a plate of idli there so that we don't feel weak while climbing up the huge hill.
We started at the foot of the hill at 10.15 and reached the top very leisurely after almost 2 hours. There are 1300 steps which are not very steep and there is a well built roof which protects us from heat. Darshan of Lord didn't take too much time and we went for the special darshan of Rs 10/-.

There are lot of monkies on the steps way and even on the top, almost equelling to the number of visitors so we were given a small stick to carry to keep them away from us. We have to be very careful if we are carrying food items like coconuts, biscuits etc.
After finishing the darshan of Godess Amritha valli and Narasimha Swami, we purchased Pulohora and curd rice to finish our so called lunch formally. but both of them tasted good and energized us to reach the foot again in a fast track. By then the time was 1 o'clock and we didn't dare to climb up the 2nd hill consiting of 400 steps and apologizing lord Hanuman for that, we started towards Tiruthani .

Tiruthani is just 20 Km from Sholingur and is one of the Aru padaiveedu(6 subrahmanya Kshetras) in Tamilnadu. The temple is on the top of a small hill where one can reach by car very comfortably. Even the darshan of Lord here didn't take much time and we went for Rs 10/- special ticket and were out after just 15-20 minutes. Valli, Devasena and lord Shanmukha are the ones which bless us here. The surrounding view form the temple is a feast to the nature lovers.
Here one can have temple accommodation starting from Rs 500/-.

Then we headed back towards Bangalore and on the way we had Onion dosa at a garden hotel located just on the road side after Krishnagiri.
With a bit of truck traffic we were back at home at 9 o'clock.

Don't forget to carry water and few biscuits like things with you while going up the hill. Better to take a Glucose pack and few dates too which give us instant strength if necessary in hot atmosphere.
Few pics in next post
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Old 6th June 2011, 13:53   #5
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

How is the road condition from Walajah to Sholinghur, used to travel through this route, 5 years back for official purpose, when the potholes outnumber the good parts of the road.

Also there is a temple for wellness, Dhanvanthiri Arokya peedam, a small detour in this route.
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Old 7th June 2011, 15:37   #6
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

The road condition is very good. No problem at all now
The total travel route is awesome
We were not aware of the place you mentioned. What is that?
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Old 7th June 2011, 15:55   #7
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

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Old 7th June 2011, 15:59   #8
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

Thr first 7 pics in the above post are of the temple present on the high way .

the small hill called Ratnagiri hill has on its top the temple of Balamurugan which is an added attraction at the end of the trip.

The pics after them are the ones of Shilinghur temple

Last edited by crazydrives : 7th June 2011 at 16:00.
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Old 7th June 2011, 16:09   #9
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

Mother is always a mother may it be a monkey or any other creature
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mmmmm... Sprite is soooo tasty
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Smile... the group photo is ready
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Yes that is the spot where we should reach
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Tiruthani temple:
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Old 7th June 2011, 16:15   #10
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

Lovely nature while coming back home

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Old 7th June 2011, 17:11   #11
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Default Re: Sholinghur a.k.a "Monkey Hill"

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydrives View Post
We were not aware of the place you mentioned. What is that?
It is a temple for Dhanvanthiri, God of Medicine.
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